On 20 September 2016, the Council adopted a legal framework which, for the first time, will allow the EU to apply sanctions autonomously to ISIL and Al-Qaida and persons and entities associated or supporting them. The European Council reported the decision was taken on Tuesday in Brussels.

Until now sanctions could only be applied to persons and entities listed by the United Nations or by EU member states acting individually.

The new legislation will allow the EU to impose a travel ban on individuals and organizations that are identified with the Islamic state and the "al-Qaeda". Their financial assets can also be frozen in the EU.

The individuals and entities targeted include those who have participated in the planning or perpetrating of terrorist attacks or have provided ISIL and Al-Qaida with financing, oil or arms, or have received terrorist training from them.

Persons or entities could also be listed for activities such as recruiting; inciting or publicly provoking acts and activities in support of these organisations, or being involved in serious abuses of human rights outside the EU, including abduction, rape, sexual violence, forced marriage and enslavement of persons.

The EU will also be able to impose restrictive measures on individuals travelling or seeking to travel both outside the EU, and into the EU, with the aim of supporting, ISIL / Al-Qaida or receiving training from them. Such measures will target particularly the so-called "foreign fighters".

PHOTO: Reuters